Cerebral Palsy Treatment 101: Building a Support Team

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that causes motor function and muscle control impairment. While cerebral palsy is not curable, people with CP can improve and learn to manage their symptoms with therapy and supportive care.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the name given to a group of disabilities and neurological disorders that first appear in early childhood or infancy. The condition impacts posture, balance, body movement, and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy is the result of damage to the brain before, during, or after birth that keeps the brain from developing properly. Cerebral palsy support services in Little Rock can help your child learn to manage their symptoms, improve motor skills, and stay as healthy, active, and independent as possible.

Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy

An umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders that affect normal movement, cerebral palsy has a variety of symptoms that can impact each child to a different degree:

  • Stiff muscles
  • Unsteady walking
  • Involuntary movements and tremors
  • Exaggerated or slow reflexes
  • Inability to control posture and balance
  • Frequent seizures

Cerebral palsy can lead to other potential health issues including vision, hearing, and speech problems as well as learning disabilities. Diagnosing the condition early in the child’s life and implementing comprehensive treatment is crucial to improving and managing the symptoms. Your child’s brain and body are more resilient early in life, providing greater opportunities to nurture your child’s development and correct many issues. Cerebral palsy support services can help many children become completely self-sufficient and enjoy an active, engaged lifestyle.

Since the condition itself is not curable, your healthcare provider will work with a team of specialists to come up with a treatment plan specific to your child’s symptoms and areas of need. Most children with cerebral palsy will regularly see a therapist to help with gross motor skills (big movements like walking, climbing, jumping, and playing) and fine motor skills (small movements like writing, drawing, and using a spoon).

Your Cerebral Palsy Care Team

Your healthcare team will be made up of therapists, specialists, doctors, and caregivers. The exact role each team member plays can change over time as your child’s condition improves and symptoms become more manageable:

  • Your primary care physician will treat any medical conditions that arise
  • A physical therapist to help with gross motor skills and movement
  • An occupational therapist to help with fine motor skills and sensory issues
  • A speech therapist to ensure your child is able to communicate as effectively at possible

Other professionals may be needed as well, depending on your child’s needs and strengths. Behavioral therapists, audiologists, ophthalmologists, special education teachers, and even a pediatric feeding therapist may be brought onboard to help. Treatment for cerebral palsy can take many forms. Some common goals of cerebral palsy support services include improved mobility, enhanced self-care skills, greater independence, and increased social interaction.

Striking the right balance of assistance and independence begins with your team of professionals and a thorough understanding of the unique challenges your child is facing. Each member of the team contributes to a plan of care designed to support each step of the treatment process in order to provide the best possible outcome for your child.

To learn more about cerebral palsy support services in Little Rock, contact Integrity Inc. at 501-406-0442. For over 20 years, Integrity, Inc. has been providing support services for families just like yours.

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